September 24, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the former president of a purported private equity real estate firm based in San Bernardino, Calif., with defrauding nearly 500 investors who purchased promissory notes under the false premise that they were secured by specific properties or other collateral.
The SEC alleges that Larry Polhill used his company American Pacific Financial Corporation (APFC) to buy and sell real estate and distressed assets, and he offered investors the opportunity to invest in the company through unregistered notes that would yield them interest payments of 5 to 17 percent per year. However, the collateral that Polhill and APFC claimed made the investments secure was often non-existent or otherwise impaired. The properties underlying the investments were sometimes even sold without notice to investors. When APFC eventually filed for bankruptcy, it named the investors as unsecured creditors who were owed nearly $160 million. None of Polhill's investment offerings were registered with the SEC.
Polhill has consented to the entry of an order that permanently enjoins him from violating these laws and permanently bars him from acting as an officer or director of any public company.more » « less